The DOT’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Accessible Air Travel contains nine primary rule clarifications, expansions and proposals that the Department hopes will improve the experience of disabled airline passengers who use a wheelchair to aid in their mobility. To learn more about the proposal, and how to submit public comment, read the Wheelchair Travel primer on the DOT NPRM for accessible air travel.

On April 25, I hosted the second of two conversations to discuss the DOT’s proposed changes to civil rights regulations, and the comments from attendees raised critical points that the agency should consider. You can watch part 2 below:

The discussion was focused on proposals five through eight, which include the following:

  • Passengers’ right to the prompt return of a delayed (left behind) wheelchair, and the responsibility of airlines when a passenger experiences harm as a result
  • Assert that passengers have a right to choose their own repair technician when a wheelchair is mishandled, plus how disputes between airlines and passengers should be resolved
  • Establish a clear requirement for airlines to provide a loaner wheelchair when the passenger’s own device is damaged or destroyed
  • Increase the frequency and scope of required training for airline staff who assist passengers or load wheelchairs

You can also watch the recording of part one of the Accessible Travel Chat, which considered proposals one through four.

Public comments are due on May 13, 2024 — do not miss the opportunity to have your voice heard at this critical moment of regulation.

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